The carbon dioxide emissions of aviation play an important role in many studies and databases. But unfortunately, a detailed and reliable overview of emission factors, and algorithms to calculate these based on factors like seating class, airline type, and aircraft type, did not exist for the Dutch aviation sector. This study calculated such emissions for a sample of over 5000 international flights in 2019 from the 5 Dutch main airports. The data about the flights were gathered from FlightRadar and enriched with seating capacities specific to the airline performing ten flights. in this way, emissions could be assigned to each of the four seating classes (economy, economy-plus, business and first). By aggregating the data to airline types and distance of the flight, algorithms were developed that help researchers and policy-makers to calculate the emissions.
The carbon footprint of Dutch aviation is about 10% of the total footprint. To prevent the world to exceed 1.5 degrees C and enter 'dangerous climate change', emissions need to decline to zero before 2050. This study helps assess and understand current aviation emissions from Dutch airports.
Benefit to society
The results were an update of emissions factors as used by the funding organisation, MilieuCentraal, and the official emission factors list (https://www.co2emissiefactoren.nl/lijst-emissiefactoren/).